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Irish Tales, Legends and Myths.
Transcript of Irish Tales, Legends and Myths.
The three green leaves of the Shamrock is more than the unofficial symbol of Ireland and one of the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. The Shamrock has held meaning to most of Ireland’s historic cultures. The Druids believed the Shamrock was a sacred plant that could ward off evil. The Celtics believed the Shamrock had mystical properties due to the plant’s three heart-shaped leaves. The Celtics believed three was a sacred number. Some Christians also believed the Shamrock had special meaning- the three leaves representing the Holy Trinity.
Paddy Corcoran´s wife
Paddy Corcoran's wife was for several years afflicted with a disease that nobody could properly understand. Nobody could tell what the matter with her was. She lay a bedridden invalid, trying doctors and quacks of all sorts, sexes, and sizes, till Paddy at last had just one comfort: she wouldn't be long with him—long troubling him.
The seventh year was on the point of closing, when, one harvest day, as she lay moaning over her hard condition. Then a little woman who was dressed in a neat red cloak, came in and sat down by the hearth, saying:
"Well, Kitty Corcoran, now you have been lying on your back for seven years, and just as far from being cured as ever. But you may be blamed for it."
"How is that?" asked Kitty bewildered.
"You see, for the last seven years you have been annoying us, the good people, and since I have a regard for you, I have come to let you know why you have been sick so long. While you have been ill, your children has thrown your dirty water out of the door after dusk and before sunrise, just when we are passing your door, which we do twice a day. Now, if you avoid this, if you throw it out in a different place and at a different time, your disease will leave you, and you will be as well as ever before. If you don't follow this advice, why, remain as you are, and all the arts of man cannot cure you."
She then bade her good-bye, and disappeared.
Kitty, who was glad to be cured on such easy terms, at once complied with the injunction of the fairy; and next day she was in as good health as ever, enjoying life once again.
The Way out
"In the MS. story, called 'Mac-na-Michomhairle', of uncertain authorship," writes me Mr. Douglas Hyde, "we read that 'out of a certain hill in Leinster, there used to emerge as far as his middle, a plump, sleek, terrible steed, and speak in human voice to each person about November-day, and he was accustomed to give intelligent and proper answers to such as consulted him concerning all that would befall them until the November of next year. And the people used to leave gifts and presents at the hill until the coming of Patrick and the holy clergy.' This tradition appears to be a cognate one with that of the Púca." Yes! unless it were merely an augh-ishka [each-uisgé], or Water-horse. For these, we are told, were common once, and used to come out of the water to gallop on the sands and in the fields, and people would often go between them and the marge and bridle them, and they would make the finest of horses if only you could keep them away from the sight of the water; but if once they saw a glimpse of the water, they would plunge in with their rider, and tear him to pieces at the bottom. It being a November spirit, however, tells in favour of the Pooka, for November-day is sacred to the Pooka. It is hard to realise that wild, staring phantom grown sleek and civil.
The Banshee was a woman who carried with her an omen of death. Sometimes you saw the Banshee as an old woman dressed in rags, sometimes you saw her as a young and beautiful girl and sometimes you saw her as a wash woman, ringing out bloody clothing. Whenever she was seen, she let out a horrible cry and legend has it this cry brought death to any family that heard it
The Pookas are a certain type of fairy- one bent on creating havoc in the mortal world. The Pooka appeared at night across rural Ireland and the seaboard. On a good day, the Pooka would cause destruction on a farm- tearing down fences and disrupting the animals. On a bad day, the Pooka would stand outside the farmhouse and call the people outside by name. If anyone came out, the Pooka would carry them away
He was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his years in slavery he converted to Christianity and once freed he did spend the rest of his life teaching the Irish about the Christian religion, but he was soon forgotten after his death. It wasn’t until many years later that monks began telling the tale of St. Patrick forcing all the snakes out of Ireland. Something he never could have done as there never were any snakes in Ireland.
The leprechaun is likely the most widely known type of fairy living in Ireland. Leprechauns have been in existence in Irish legend since the medieval times. Traditionally, leprechauns are tall fairies and often appear to humans as an old man – much different from the modern view of a small, childlike fairy in a green suit. As legend holds, Leprechauns love to collect gold, which they store in a pot and hide at the end of a rainbow. If a human catches a leprechaun, the fairy must grant the human three-wishes before he can be released